STAR: Smoking Treatment and Recovery Program | MedStar

Smoking Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Program

Get the support you need to be tobacco-free.

We know how hard it can be to stop smoking. That’s why we developed the Smoking Treatment and Recovery (STAR) program for patients receiving hematological or oncological care at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. STAR provides the comprehensive support you need to help you quit and stay tobacco-free. You do not need to be ready to quit when you make an appointment with the STAR Team.


Why quit now?

Quitting smoking cigarettes or other types of tobacco after a cancer diagnosis improves your chances of surviving cancer. You may be surprised to learn just how much quitting can improve your health during and after treatment. When you quit, you may experience:

  • Faster healing from cancer surgery
  • Fewer side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, and skin problems, from cancer treatment
  • Faster and better response time to chemotherapy and radiation
  • Better quality of life 
  • Reduced chances of your cancer returning or a second cancer developing
  • A lower risk of pneumonia and respiratory failure/li>

STAR can help you quit

We will work with you to figure out an approach to quitting that’s right for you. Our experienced health care team has expertise in the latest research on helping patients quit. Starting a conversation is your first step.

How STAR works

STAR makes it easy to commit to your health. Our personalized, expert approach is tailored to your needs.

  • A knowledgeable clinical team, consisting of Tobacco Treatment Specialists and Nurse Practitioners, will talk with you to understand your smoking history and goals. Together, you and the team will develop a treatment plan.
  • Treatment includes up to four counseling sessions to discuss strategies to change smoking-related behaviors. Nicotine replacement therapy and medications are also available if you are interested in these options.
  • Depending on your preference, appointments can be in person, by video telehealth or by phone.

You do not need to be ready to quit when you make an appointment with the STAR Team. We will work with you to figure out an approach to quitting that’s right for you.

Is STAR for you?

STAR provides individual tobacco cessation support to all current and former cancer patients, whether you have not yet begun treatment, are undergoing treatment, or have finished your treatment.

  • We will work with you to find the most effective strategies to help you quit.

  • Behavioral counseling by phone is provided at no charge.

  • Most insurance and Medicare will cover in-person and video telehealth appointments with a Nurse Practitioner, as well as medications. Please call your insurance company for details on your coverage.

  • Nicotine patches/lozenges may be offered to you at a free or reduced rate.

  • We also offer tobacco treatment for family members of patients, as well as referrals to psycho-social counseling to help support you in areas of your life outside of smoking.

Meet the team 



Patient stories

Why choose STAR?

  • Unmatched expertise: STAR’s clinical team has 20 years combined experience conducting successful smoking and tobacco cessation programs.

  • Offering Tomorrow’s Cessation Treatments Today: Research cures cancer. Through our partnership with Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center – the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Washington, D.C., we’re able to develop and evaluate new, innovative treatments for smoking cessation. This allows us to offer you a chance for better outcomes.

The STAR program was created through a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and is currently supported through MedStar Health and a grant from CVS Health.